Rwanda endeavors to manage and develop its water resources in an integrated and sustainable manner, so as to secure and provide water of adequate quantity and quality for all social and economic needs.

To enable evidence based decision making, the Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) generates concise, easily understood annual overviews of key parameters and locations which are indicative of the overall state of Rwanda’s water resources.

  • Surface water quantity

  • Ground water quantity

  • Water quality

  • Water use

The information is based on data collected through our monitoring programme which is designed to provide stakeholders and decision-makers with information to support the sustainable development and management of our water resources, improve water productivity and to plan for the future conditions resulting from climate change.

Soil erosion is the biggest source of nonpoint pollution in watersheds worldwide, with fine sediment being the most common pollutant (eg. Gurgen 2003, Yanda & Munishi 2007, Davis & Fox 2009). In Rwanda and other areas within the Nile Basin, suspended sediments have been sharply increasing in water bodies since the 1990s (Probst & Suchet 1992, Odado & Olaga 2007, REMA 2009). The State of the Environment Report (REMA 2009) mentions that the Nyabarongo river system carries 51 kg/second of soil at Nyabarongo-Kigali, 44 kg/s at Nyabarongo-Kanzenze and 26 kg/s at AkageraRusumo.  Increasing sediment loads in rivers leads to the deterioration of water quality, a condition that affects freshwater ecosystems and their capacity to deliver the critical freshwater ecosystem services upon which human populations depend in a timely and cost-effective way. For instance, sediment settles on streambeds and fill up the gaps underneath stones, thus removing habitat for aquatic macroinvertebrates (insect larvae) which feed on detritus, thus maintain water quality and constitute food for stream fishes. Sediment deposition in river channels and reservoirs also reduces volume capacity that worsens flooding during periods of high rainfall. 

The work presented in this report is a proposal for a physical rehabilitation n of the Nyabarongo Upstream Watershed. This is a technical component which is part of an integrated catchment management plan but focuses more on land restoration and rehabilitation. The presented rehabilitation plan should be taken as a guiding plan that will serve as a planning tool at district level and as an IWRM awareness tool, among others, for all concerned stakeholders. 

Heavy rainfall in the volcanoes area often results in floods. Whereas the observed floods may appear similar in nature, the dynamics of floods in the volcanoes area are quite different according to their locations: classic torrential rivers in the Musanze urban area and Sebeya catchment, flooded endorheic areas (catchments without external outlet) in Byangabo sector, and flooded “dry thalwegs” north east of Rubavu disctrict. A study was implemented by “Water for Growth Rwanda”. This memo provides the final results. The main studied rivers are the following ones :

  • Musanze-city sector: Rivers Rwebeya, Muhe and Susa

  • Byangabo plateau sector: Rivers Murufurwe, Mutobo, Kinoni, Bikwi, Rungu and Nyabitondore.

  • Sebeya Catchment: Rivers Sebeya, Karambo and Pfunda